Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Carrot & Mustard Bread

It's funny how certain things you buy seem to acquire a vibe or a kind of reputation attached to them. Like that dress which you seem to be perpetually running late in or spilling things on or the car which always seems to be getting into scrapes while the other one you owned only reminds you of all the lovely, long road trips you have taken.

Of course, it could be that you always spend time looking for matching earrings for that particular dress, which is why you run late or you love wearing a particular dress for lazy lunches - and if you're anything like me that's a guaranteed recipe for splotches and stains!. And of course we took more road trips as a cozy couple and handed over the car to a driver when the kid came along!!

Inspite of all the rational explanations, these things seem to stick in our mind. The same thing happened with a lovely loaf tin my friend picked up for me when she saw a dealon while shopping. This was in June and immediately after that I somehow simply stopped baking! It had everything to do with the fact that I went back to full time work in July, but of course I blamed it on the poor loaf tin.

The best way to break that jinx? - bake something in it! So, I brought out my Sara Lewis book and saw this lovely Carrot & Mustard bread. I started quite late (around 7.30pm) and realised later it would only become colder as time wore on - definitely not ideal bread baking time. But I just can't seem to give up an idea once it takes hold, so I soldiered on. The yeast was fine and bubbled over, but when I kneaded the bread and left in a warm oven, it really didn't rise as much as it normally does. So I left it for almost an hour and 45 minutes before the second proofing. Kneaded it again and shaped the dough into three small buns and one oblong loaf.

30 minutes later it had not risen much at all and I was really sleepy and didn't think it was going to rise much anyway, so popped it into the oven to bake after glazing it. It baked quite beautifully and the glaze made it a nice golden top. But the inside of the bread, though cooked, was not the lovely spongy texture I look forward to....I guess, now that it's winter, I should stick to baking in the day when its a bit warmer. Or maybe it was the fact that I had used whole wheat flour instead of "granary flour" and plain flour instead of "strong white flour" and did not change the proportions. The flavours of the carrot and mustard were excellent though - definitely worth a second attempt.

Ah, well, atleast now the jinx has been broken and I can stop blaming the loaf tin........on the other hand, maybe I can blame the loaf tin for the bread!*evil grin*

This loaf of carrot bread specially to dear Cooker who is hosting this month's edition of JFI - where the ingredient is the Carrot. Jihva for Ingredients (JFI) is the brainchild of Indira and is probably one of the longest running Indian food blog events. Thank you Cooker for extending the last date!

Carrot & Mustard Bread
Recipe adapted from Sara Lewis's The Bread Book

Wheat flour (atta) - 200gm (approx 2 1/4 cups)
Refined flour (maida) - 150gm (approx 1 3/4 cups)
Water - 200ml (1 cup)
Dried active yeast - 3 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Honey - 1 tsp
Mustard - 2 tbsp
Carrots - grated, 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
Egg yolk - 1

1. Warm up the water, dissolve the sugar in it and when lukewarm add the yeast to it. Keep aside for about 15 minutes till it bubbles and froths.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours with the butter, rubbing till it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the salt, honey, mustard, grated carrot and the yeast mixture and knead for 10 minutes to a smooth dough.
4. Cover with an oiled clingwrap and set aside in a warm place for about an hour or till it doubles in size.
5. Knead again and shape into an oblong loaf or form into a thick rope and twist from one side like a corkscrew.
6. Put into a greased loaf tin (I used a 1 litre loaf tin for the loaf and made the rest of the dough into three small rolls) and set aside for another 30 minutes till it rises to the top (depending on the height of the tin).
7. Pre heat the oven to 200C, brush the egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water on to the top of the loaf and then bake for about 30-35 minutes. If the top is browning too much after the first 15 minutes, cover with foil and continue baking.
8. Remove from oven, the bread should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from tin carefully and keep on wire rack to cool.


Nags said...

Absolutely loved reading your post. and you are so right! :)

Happy cook said...

Yeah i too sometimes blame on the tools.
Bread looks yummy

Sunshinemom said...

This happens with me too, not the jinx (that is a different story!), but the baking thing - I get the mood to work on a bread at 2 in the A.N, decide on one and by the time I get on with it its late, and then I am forced to stay awake till late!! Glad to have a mate there:)

I read that whole wheat is the right alternative to strong white flour so that could not be the reason, but rustic breads tend to turn out a little tougher than the usual ones with maida!

Just in case it helps this time I found that using fresh yeast gave me perfectly soft buns with whole wheat. BTW, My Sara Lewis book doesn't have this bread!

Cham said...

Lol blaming the loaf tin... Mustard and carrot i never heard of this combo! Good one!

Raaga said...


I loved the story... I loved the bread too :-)

Miri said...

Thank you all:) Love sharing my stories with you!

Sunshinemom, thats weird! maybe its another edition?

Jude said...

Haha.. In know exactly what you mean. Sounds like a fun combination to put in bread.

Andhra Flavors said...

loved reading our post.carrot bread looks delicious

Rajani said...

hi miri,i know what you mean i have2 white t shirts and one of them is my absolute favorite - but its jinxed. i am always a dribbling adult in it. now 5 months down the line I have given up cos i know i WILL spill when i am wearing it :( but good for you though with the loaf tin! wintersmust be setting in in delhi. ah i miss delhi winters - there's a lovely smell in the air. nice recipe, looks good too- hope it gets even better next time ;)

Vaishali said...

I make bread quite a bit, but ever so often I run right back into the jinx. I know it's all chemistry, but sometimes it just seems like luck!
This is such an unusual bread, Miri, and it looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.